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Filipina to be UN rapporteur on indigenous people’s rights - NGO

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 11 Mar 2014 11:50 GMT
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Igorot tribesman Nicolas Cawed, 66, and his daughter Mia Nicole, 20, show their fingers stained with indelible ink after casting their votes in presidential and local elections on an automated machine in Baguio city, north of Manila. Picture May 10, 2010, REUTERS/Harley Palangchiao
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NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The United Nations Human Rights Council has appointed Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, an indigenous Filipina activist, as its new Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, according to a report by Tebtebba, the NGO she founded.

Tebtebba, the Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education, said the selection of Tauli-Corpuz, which the UN has not released, has been confirmed by UN Human Rights Council President Boudelaire Ndong Ella and will be formally announced on March 28.

Tebtebba quoted Ella as noting Tauli-Corpuz’s “active involvement with the United Nations and multi-stakeholder cross-regional bodies on indigenous issues and her past collaboration with and commitment to constructive engagement among governments and indigenous peoples.”

Tauli-Corpuz, who founded Tebtebba in 1996, has long campaigned for the rights of indigenous peoples. She is among those who lobbied for more than 20 years for a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the United Nations adopted in 2007.

Tauli-Corpuz has served as chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; as an expert for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and chairperson-rapporteur of the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations.

She is a member of the Kankana-ey Igorot people from the Cordillera region of the northern Philippines.

She told Tebtebba that one area on which she will focus in her new role is the impact of big business, such as mining and plantations, on the rights and lands of indigenous peoples.

She will succeed James Anaya, a native American, who is a professor of human rights law and policy at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law.

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